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THE COBRA IN THE BARN
Great Stories of Automotive Archeology
256 pages, 125 photos
THE HEMI IN THE BARN
More Great Stories of Automotive Archeology
256 pages, 126 photos
These books are essentially separate chapters of stories with the same theme; urban legends with more than a grain of truth, automotive versions of stories about the discovery of pirate treasure or the opening of King Tut’s tomb and the quest for answers to historical mysteries.
There are tales of recovering historically significant vehicles one-step ahead of the Russian mafia and poignant tales of a soldier’s pact with a comrade in arms. A tale of a fifty-three year wait for a 1932 Model B Ford roadster truck is a study in patience while the discovery of a rare 1938 Pontiac “woody” exemplifies the importance of being at the right place at the right time.
In my time, there have been some intriguing discoveries including a Franklin Airman taken off the road in the 1930s and a Citroen SM with only 6,000 miles on the odometer but they pale in comparison to tales of a finding a Cobra in a bedroom or a Maserati behind a brick wall. Moreover, they are not even in the same league of a Model J Duesenberg parked for more than seventy years or finding the first 1955 Corvette produced.
These books are not just for automotive enthusiasts who dream big. Anyone who grew up with tales of buried treasure, loves a good mystery or simply a rousing good read are sure to enjoy both titles and hope this series will become a trilogy.
MOTOR MOVIES – The Posters
224 pages, 250 color photographs
Veloce Publishing LTD
At first glance, this colorful work seems to be a mildly interesting, pricey coffee table book. With a second glance, you realize this coffee table book with a price tag that leans toward the heavy side has a fascinating story to tell.
Through colorful reprints of movie posters, the international evolution of the automobiles role in films unfolds with the turning of each page. Margin notes provide a brief summary of the poster from its country of origin to date of film release, primary vehicle used in the movie and rarity of the poster making the book a valuable asset to collectors of movie memorabilia.
For me it was the cornucopia of trivia that kept me turning pages and sent me seeking old movies such as Blonde Comet from 1941 starring Barney Oldfield and Virginia Vale, Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow from 1959 and Wer Fuhr Den Graun Ford? (Who’s Driving the Grey Ford?), a German film from 1950.
This book will most definitely liven up a coffee table but it will also fill a niche for those who love obscure trivia or those late night movies.
The official biography of Virgil Exner, designer extraordinaire
160 pages, 380 illustrations
Veloce Publishing LTD
Wow! Masterfully Peter Grist weaves the triumphant, inspirational, and tragic in the telling of the Exner story. Illustrations, many never before published, are bright threads in this tapestry.
The poignant and heartfelt foreword by Virgil Exner Jr. sets the stage. The first act is a delightful blend of rare personal photos and samples of Exner’s evolving style from doodles and work for his high school year book to professional work for a local instrument maker to his early work in the promotion of Studebaker.
Each chapter follows this format chronicling the amazing life and many contributions of Virgil Exner. Then, as with the life of Virgil Exner, the book draws to a close far to quickly. However, a fitting final chapter chronicles Exner’s greatest legacy, the life, and accomplishments of his son Virgil Exner Jr.
As a photographic essay of Exner’s life and work, this book is nothing short of stunning. Add well researched text and you have a first rate study of one of the American automotive industries greatest innovators in the post war period.